The Indian Rafting Foundation, founded by India’s rafting trailblazer Shaukat Sikand, held the 14th National Rafting Championship on the river Sutlej in Himachal Pradesh from 23 to 27th March 2021. The event, attended by Mr Divesh Kumar (IAS), Secretary Tourism from Himachal Pradesh, also selected two teams who will carry the Indian flag in France at the World Championships.
Four teams from the Indian Army, three from BSF including a women’s team joined teams from Himachal, Arunachal, Punjab and Jammu for four days of exhilarating races overseen by WRF accredited judges of the Indian Rafting Foundation. The Indian Rafting Foundation judges, trained by WRF Chief Judge Stefan Purjakov, came from Jammu, Arunachal, Kashmir, Goa, Delhi, Telangana and included the Secretary General Ahsan Ul Bandey as well as the Chief Judge Sushil K Sharma.
The Indian Army teams led by the coach Col Sachin Nikam stood out in the male category with their preparedness and team effort: despite the third place in the RX, the two golds of Slalom and Downriver guaranteed the overall victory to the Indian Army team; Mr Devaiah KN, Mr Joga Singh, Mr Hansraj, Mr Samy Murugan and Mr Sreejith KS (reserve) will be the first team representing India in France next June.
Indian Army team
The second team got a ticket to the world championships and is from the Army too, Army Adventure Wing: Mr Ravi DR, Mr Arul Kunar G, Mr J Pothanna, Mr Rajkumar Karki and Mr Rajinder Aher (Reserve) took the overall silver, with a second place in every discipline.
The third step of the podium went to Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS) from Manali.
Two women teams participated: BSF finishing first, followed by ABVIMAS.
Women winning team BSF
Therefore two teams already have their “tickets” to France, but four other will follow: 2 women and 2 mix teams will be selected soon, paddling in the next weeks.